Nintendo Insists It Isn’t Worried About Upcoming Generation Of Console Launches

Nintendo Insists It Isn’t Worried About Upcoming Generation Of Console Launches
Credit: Nintendo Official Website

The next generation of consoles will be upon us soon, bringing untold numbers of new games, IPs, franchises, and everything else that advances along with consoles. So what does Nintendo, a company that has just as much stake in the console war as Microsoft and Sony, have to say about the upcoming changes?

In a recently released Japanese Q&A, Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa spoke to investors on their anticipations for the upcoming generation of consoles. You can read the whole release here, assuming you can read Japanese.

To translate a few of the most important bits, we have Furukawa’s direct statement on his opinions on the console upgrade: “We will explain the specific figures for the next fiscal year in our next fiscal year announcement, but I think there will certainly be a change in the environment as new products of our competitors appear.”

Overall, Furukawa doesn’t believe that the upcoming changes will have much of an impact on Nintendo’s financial sales or situation. More than anything, he feels that Nintendo targets a different audience than Microsoft and Sony, and that their audience won’t go away just because there’s a flashy new console on a shelf somewhere.

This is a sensible point of view when you think of the different niche that the Nintendo Switch fills compared to Microsoft and Sony. Obviously you have to consider the Nintendo exclusives that keep so many people on their consoles – Super Smash Bros., Pokemon, and Zelda are three of the most influential and popular franchises in gaming, and you won’t find them anywhere that isn’t a Nintendo product.

Past that, Nintendo is also the driving force of mobile gaming at the moment, not counting smartphones. Anyone who wants to play a game on the go is likely to be using a Switch at this point, so the upcoming consoles will have no effect on mobile sales since they won’t interact much with the mobile market.

“We believe that the Nintendo Switch business is now in its fourth year and is just in the middle of its life cycle. Rather than just the next year, I think about things in terms of what to do the following year and the year after that,” Furukawa stated.

It isn’t surprising to see Nintendo taking a backseat on the console war, as the company is known in the gaming community to often be a few steps late. Their online formats, for example, are generally inferior to the rest of the gaming industry, such as the code-based sharing that Mario Maker levels utilize.

Polygon’s Jenna Stoeber recently came out with an excellent video that highlights this, which we’ve included above. In it, they highlight Nintendo’s progression method of waiting until the industry has paved the way and then coming in and improving on it. To quote Stoeber’s remark on their backseat innovation, “Being on the cutting edge is an excellent way to bleed.”